Productive Things

My free time needs to be dedicated to income-producing activities and chores. So when I tried to do one of the former but couldn’t, I had to go to the latter, which in this today’s case is taxes.

My list of income-producing activities is short.

  • day job
  • side job
  • writing
  • second side job which hasn’t coalesced into actual income yet

My list of chores is…longer.

  • feed the kids
  • do the laundry
  • do the dishes
  • do the taxes
  • try to make a budget
  • try to stick to the budget
  • do the shopping
  • don’t completely lose my shit

That last one is getting harder and harder.

I did (almost) finish the taxes, though. I got hung up on the last step, but I should be able to wrap it up tomorrow.

Tomorrow. Which hopefully will not include a meltdown on my part.

Do not completely lose my shit.


Income & Expenses: July-August

I’m labeling this one July and August because there were no expenses or income in July, and I didn’t want people to think I forgot a month. So with that out of the way, let’s get started.


I subscribed again to Deposit Photos because I made a decision to write short stories again under a pen name. The goal is to write short fiction in a day and then publish immediately, opening up some time to do it again. I had some leftover images from my last subscription, but they aren’t what I need. So for $1 a photo, I’m signed back up. It’s more expensive than last time, but right now I need to make sure I’m not wasting money. This subscription gets me 10 photos a month, plus more at $1 each, and the unused credits will roll over to the next month as long as I have the subscription. I can do a lot with this no matter what I’m writing, so I did it.

Cover Photos – $10


I earned a bit of money! Not a lot, mind you, but I sold some e-books at Smashwords and they paid up in August. It feels good to have money coming in from my writing, even if it is a small amount.

It’s also a good reminder that if I’m not publishing, there’s no way I’ll be able to earn any money. I published a couple things at the end of July, but then not again until the end of August. I have had notifications of a few more sales from Smashwords, but I haven’t been paid yet. Hopefully in just a couple of weeks.

E-book Sales – $5

Sums Up

Well, I spent more than I earned. That’s not ideal, but okay.

I’ve earned money in March, June, and August. Since I think all the places that sell my books pay monthly, I’m increasing in frequency and that’s a good thing.

Also, in a category I haven’t thought about reporting, I started selling my most recent short story exclusively with Amazon, getting the book into Kindle Unlimited. I get paid for outright purchases of the book, but I also get paid by how many pages of my books are being read. Since there was a little activity already this month, I may report on that next month as well. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully well.

Wish me luck!

Income & Expenses: June!

I forgot to do this post on the first Sunday of the month, and at some point I started dreading it. I want to write it, though. I want the record for myself, if no one else. So, here we go.

The month of June was quite better than May for words, and it ended up a mite bit better for income, too.


I didn’t actually spend anything in June, which is good and bad. I didn’t order any proof copies, I didn’t invest in my business at all monitarily.

Part of me is okay with that, of course. If I’m not putting money out, then I’m more likely to earn more than I spend.

The other part of me realizes that there needs to be some kind of output in a business that expects an income. Proof copies, until I become comfortable enough with my skills to not need them. Stock photos, because my photography skills are not up to par. Marketing materials such as business cards, postcards, and other things that make me happy and I think my audience might appreciate.

So – no expenses. Good news, bad news.


I had income! For print and ebooks, actually, and a small income from the UK! I’m thrilled. Beyond thrilled. This is not my first “paycheck” from book sales, but it doesn’t make it any less exciting.

Print and Ebook Sales – $32

Sums Up

I did not apply myself to publishing last month, and that will be reflected in the months to come. I am a firm believer that you reap tomorrow what you’ve sown today, and if I’m not sewing, there’s not going to be much reaping. So I really need to improve on that. I find it hard to take the time to publish when I’m trying to write new material, but it’s important. Writing is, too, but there’s no income if there’s no new material going out.

Income & Expenses: May!

Greetings and salutations! Another month of the year has passed, and there are things to talk about. As I may have mentioned in my May review, the month was slow where writing is concerned. I did get a bit published, and I did make some sales, but writing is like farming. You reap tomorrow what you sow today. Since I made very little writing progress, I’m afraid there will be an income gap in coming months. We’ll deal with that as we get on, though, so here’s how the month went.


I spent a bit on proof copies this month; three for Space Cats from Space at both CreateSpace and Barnes & Noble, and one for A Brief History at CreateSpace. I don’t think I will need more than one in the future, and I will be able to eliminate that if I print a copy out that I think is finished so I can find all the printing errors quickly. It would certainly be cheaper to spend money on photocopies than proof copies, and faster at that.

I also spent some on gifts for first readers/proofers of Space Cats. I purchased each a copy of the book on the front end, not proof copies (it didn’t seem right, either on the CreateSpace end or the gift end).

And the final expense was for a PO Box that doesn’t get used. I leased it for Ivey Books to anchor a newsletter, and in the hopes that I would get mail. I haven’t gotten a newsletter going, and I certainly don’t get more than junk mail for the previous post office box lessee. I have it again for a year, which gives me until next June to either get the newsletter, start receiving mail, or find another purposeful use for it.

Proof Copies – $30
Gifts – $21
PO Box – $60


I have books up for sale and I have made print sales (although no ebook sales, unfortunately), but I have not yet been paid, so I can’t count it as income yet. Yes, as mentioned, some of the income is for books I purchased, but in May six books were sold. I’m so excited to be able to post that as a positive!

Income – $0

Sums Up

I applied myself well in publishing, I think. Getting a book up is nothing to sneeze at. I certainly could have gotten another done, but my writing likely would have suffered more. Financially, I need to work on polishing my work better so only one proof is necessary – that would have saved some money. And I likely need to work harder on marketing so that more sales occur. There is some balance to work out still, and hopefully, I manage it before falling over.

Wish me luck!

Income & Expenses: April!

I’m back! I thought maybe I could make this a weekly post, but yeah, it’s better this way. At least until some things start to happen. Like sales. Sales would be good, but so would publishing! I have a couple things in the pipeline I talk about in my regular posts, one that I hope to have up for sale this week if everything works out okay.

So, on to the money.


Well, I spent a few dollars this month. One thing was frivolous – a case for the Chromebook I purchased in March. I mean, it’s not essentially frivolous. The thing needs protection, I need a way to cart it around. But I could have put it off. But I didn’t!

The second thing I spent money on was necessary, and I got a good deal on it. I needed stock photography as I’m doing my own covers for the time being. And while I would, of course, love to be able to pick out only the images I need when I need them, you can’t do that with the package I chose. Luckily, I dabble a little bit in graphic design and desktop publishing in my office job. Having a large bank of photographs to pick and choose from when starting a project is as good as having exactly what you think you need. Lots of times, what you don’t have gives you a better project in the end.

The third thing I purchased was education related. There was a Story Bundle on sale with a couple books in it by authors I know and respect, so I picked that up. As a bonus for buying at a certain level, I also received some seminars that I always get a lot of value from. So I’m looking forward to learning from that.

Chromebook Case – $13
Bigstock – $50
StoryBundle – $20


Oh dear. Um, I didn’t get any books up for sale in April, so there wasn’t even a chance of new income. I did do some other pseudo marketing things, like use my Bullet Journal to build an Instagram following (91, so far). I love my #bujo, so it’s a passion as much as writing is. Once I have covers to add, I’ll pop those up with my #bujo layouts and quotes. The thought is, more eyes can’t hurt, even if they’d rather be looking at weekly layouts or hand lettered quotes.

Income – $0

Sums Up

Well, I spent a bit more than I earned, but with a $13 exception, I think the things I spent money on were sound. The stock images, while sometimes just things I think are pretty, will come in handy at some point, I know it. I enjoy playing with images too much. And the books from the StoryBundle, I’m going to read them all.

So I’m a little bit in the hole, but I’m up attitude and Instagram followers. 🙂

See you next month!